New 7 station Col-Tec B4 DPF collator

Col-Tec factory two assembly area

Large format collator guarded

Col-Tec Solutions is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of equipment for the graphic arts industry.  They make a range of collators that they can customise to meet the demanding and often unusual requirements of their customers, who come from all over the world.

As well as manufacturing new collators, Col-Tec also refurbishes older machines to “as new” standard, and they are a trusted supplier who has advertised on pressXchange for many years.

Owner and managing director Paul Bailey has written this profile of his company for pressXchange.

John Roadnight

Paul Bailey, owner and managing director of Col-Tec Solutions

As the industry’s market leader in customising collating machines, we have experienced all kinds of requests for collating applications, from the weird to the wonderful, ranging from wraps for flower bouquets to producing sample books for vinyl, carpet and fabric materials.

Featuring the “Made in Great Britain” label, we have reached all four corners of the world with some of the more unusual destinations including New Caledonia, La Reunion, Iran and The Sudan.  At the time of producing this article, we have machines currently en route or in build for Germany, Uruguay, U.S.A. India, Egypt, The Philippines and Saudi Arabia.

Col-Tec’s range of Collators start from small refurbished models to giant new collators for the “Point of Sale” market.  This covers all sizes from A7 to 62 x 42” format, and substraits from tissue paper to heavy board, folded sections and books. Our customers range from one man self-employed Printers/Finishers through to Industry Heavyweights like Linneys and the Simpson Group.

When the refurbished machines come back to us (like prodigal sons returning home), they are rebuilt with a desire to look like and perform similar to a new machine, with only the detailed knowledge that the original manufacturer can provide.

The build process for new collators typically takes 8 to 10 weeks from cutting metal to having the machine ready to ship.  On top of that, we have to allow design time which depends on the degree of customisation, and a week or so for installation, which in turn depends on the size of the equipment.  At Col-Tec we are proud that we cover all the engineering disciplines in-house, from framework fabrication through to component manufacture, together with mechanical and electrical fitting.  This complete product, not a widget or a gadget part of something else, sees 80% of our output exported thereby adding to the Great British Brand.

Whilst we have a number of competitors for more standard applications, the sheer number of unique custom built machines, allied to the skills garnered from that experience, indicates that there is no other company quite like ours which is able to generate the cutting edge machinery Col-Tec provides for the collating industry.

Amongst many awards we have won over the years, our most recent for “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” was presented to us this year 2018, by the New Forest Business Partnership, the area in which we are located, it was sponsored by the New Forest District Council and Exxon Mobil.


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